Madelia calls itself the Pheasant Capital of Minnesota, and it will be on Saturday when it hosts the 2013 Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener.
The 120 or so people invited to the hunt have long been selected, but the public still can participate at a number of events, including a banquet Friday night and pancake breakfast Saturday morning.
"We wanted as much of the event open to the public as possible,'' said Dan Madsen, city manager.
He noted there are 8,600 acres of public hunting land within 20 miles of Madelia, and he's optimistic hunters will find some roosters.
Here are some of the public events:
- 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Shotgun shooting events including sporting clays, trap and duck flurry.
- 4 p.m. - Dedication of a veteran’s memorial.
- 4:30 p.m. - “Best of the best shooting tournament” featuring the world’s top four shotgun exhibition shooters.
- 6 p.m. - Governor’s reception and banque at the VFW/American Legiont; tickets are $30; contact city hall at 507-642-3245.
- 9 p.m. - Free concert by Martin Zellar and the Hardways.
- The community breakfast starts at 6:30 a.m. at the VFW/American Legion, with a public land dedication at noon. And, of course, the hunting season opens at 9 a.m. and shooting hours are until sunset.
Gov. Mark Dayton launched the first Governor’s Pheasant Opener two years ago at Montevideo, and hunted roosters there and last year at the second event in Marshall. (Photo above is from the Marshall hunt.)
Dayton will be at many of the events in Madelia on Friday and Saturday, including the banquet, breakfast and land dedication, but won't be hunting this year. Dayton, 66, who grew up hunting, tore a hip muscle in June.
“He’s still healing from that,’’ said Matt Swenson, the governor’s press secretary.
For more information about the event, see www.mnpheasant.com.